Taxi driver Uber Strike Paris

Paris Uber Strike: Taxi Drivers Shut Down Streets With Violent Protest Over Uber, Courtney Love A Victim

Taxi drivers have shut down streets in Paris in protest of the ride-sharing service Uber. The protests have turned violent, with overturned cars visible in the streets, burning tires, and even frantic tweets from Courtney Love Cobain as her driver is held hostage by protesters. The anti-Uber protesters have created blockades on the main streets of Paris, along with roads leading to the airport, causing mass transportation issues. Those needing to make it to the airport are now forced to travel by foot or train, as the main road access is “completely blocked.”

The BBC reports that French Uber protesters have taken to the streets of Paris as part of a nationwide taxi driver strike. Taxi drivers in the area are angry that Uber drivers are able to “unfairly undercut” their prices by avoiding licensing fees. The drivers pay thousands of euros for a formal operating license and say that Uber is unfairly able to provide driving services without proper licensing. Therefore, Abdelkader Morghad, a representative of the FTI taxi union, says taxi drivers across Paris took to the streets to demand that changes be made regarding unlicensed drivers with Uber.

“We’re demanding the Thevenoud law, which clearly forbids unlicensed drivers, be implemented. There’s a lack of political will to do it.”

Statistically, Morghad says taxi drivers have lost between 30 and 40 percent of their income in the past two years due to Uber use. The Telegraph notes that Courtney Love Cobain also got caught up in the protest. Love’s driver was apparently held “hostage” by protesters as they beat nearby cars with metal bats. Love posted a frightening picture from inside her car that shows the window smashed.

After her initial two tweets, Courtney Love then lashed out at France’s president, François Hollande, asking if it is common practice to allow “your people” to attack visitors. Love says that despite protesters holding her driver hostage for over an hour and protesters completely destroying cars by slashing tires and beating the vehicles with metal bats, nothing was being done by the riot police. Love says she was eventually rescued by two guys on a motorcycle, and posted this victory photo to her Instagram account noting she was finally free.

Courtney Love Saved From French Uber Riots

Do you think the Paris taxi drivers have a valid complaint about unlicensed Uber drivers, or should they change with the times? Should police in France do more to control the protests as they turn increasingly violent?

[Image Credit: Twitter/ Reuters]